Terrifying Extortion Scam Targeting Lakewood Residents

Lakewood Shomrim reports that residents have been receiving calls from unidentified people saying that they have kidnapped a family member or that a loved one has been involved in a terrible accident. The only way to get them back? Of course – pay the scammers.

“While these extortion scams are not new, residents must be prepared for them in case they get one,” Shomrim told Lakewood Alerts. “If you get such a call, it is a scam. Period. Do not engage. Do not send money. Immediately contact law enforcement.”

Some tips to not fall for phone scams:

  • Don’t be pressured by a threatening caller. Stop, think and check whether their story is true.
  • A government agency or trusted company will never ask you to pay by unusual methods such as by gift or store cards, iTunes vouchers, wire transfers or Bitcoins.
  • If you receive a phone call from someone threatening you and asking you to pay a fee, hang up and do not respond.
  • Don’t use any contact details provided by the caller. Verify their identity by calling the relevant organization directly—find them through an independent source such as a phone book, past bill or online search.
  • Do not respond to texts or emails. If you do, the scammers will escalate their intimidation and attempts to get your money.
  • Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or personal information to anyone you don’t know or trust and never by email or over the phone.
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